Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

SAM logoStalking is a serious crime that is often violent and can escalate over time. In the United States, about 7.5 million people are stalked in one year, and more than 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. One in four female victims and one in three male victims are stalked by an acquaintance. One in five victims are stalked by a stranger.

Stalking can be closely related to domestic violence: 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 78% of women killed by an intimate partner have previously been stalked by that partner, and two-thirds were also abused by their intimate partner.

NSAM08_ButtonSquWHTA stalker’s individual actions might seem harmless, but the pattern of unwanted contact that makes their victim fear for their safety. Two-thirds of stalkers pursue their victims once a week, often daily, and the majority use more than one method.

Here are examples of things stalkers do:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or GPS to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors or co-workers.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track or frighten you.

Remember, you are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior. If you think you or someone you know is being stalked, help is available. Call the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline (804.612.6126) to speak with an advocate who can answer your questions, explore your options and help you plan for your safety.

*If you or a loved one would like to speak to a Safe Harbor advocate about the legal options available to survivors of stalking, you can contact our court advocate Paz Ochs during business hours by phone (804-249-9470 X 21) or email ( 



To learn more about stalking, visit the Stalking Resource Center website.

*Source: Stalking Resource Center